Tuesday, April 25, 2006

House to home

Koby has been the hero of the last few posts. Poor chap, he’s not even here with me and his father can’t stop blogging or talking about him! He's pitured here with his great grandmother who came to visit at Anne's home in Tiruvalla. My fathers mum.
I made a trip over to the radiation therapy out patient department today. It’s been a month since radiation was over and it’s time to get a CT scan appointment made to see if there has been any change to the disease with the radiation. Unlike a PET scan, a CT scan will not be able to differentiate between cancerous active and dead inactive lymph nodes, but it will let me know if the radiation has shrunk the mass sitting in my chest – or if has grown oblivious to the radiation. The appointment is for Saturday – this will be the first of my scans I go in for without Anne around. Will miss her not being around, anyway she’s just a phone call away.
The small scabs of burnt skin from the radiation finally fell off today while I was having a wash. It’s like old things have passed away, I a new person…. The CT or the PET isn’t going to tell me something I don’t know.
I got the keys to my new apartment today. Amma and I went to check the place out. It’s a dusty mess, and needs a lot of work, but getting it together before Anne gets back is going to be great fun.
I don’t know how many of you know a song –“Rocky”. Not the movie, it’s a song I love and have sung on stage at various points in life.

We found an old grey house and you would not believe the way,
We worked at night to fix it up, to classes in the day.
Painting walls and sippin wine, sleeping on the floor,
With so much love for just two, soon we found there’d be one more..

And she said “Rocky, I’ve never had a baby before
– Don’t know if I could do it,
But if you let me lean on you, take your hand I might get thru it.”
I said “Baby, O sweet baby – its love that sets us free
– God knows if the world should end, your love is safe with me.”

I guess a lonely mind has time for nostalgia!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cherry and Koby

I have hardly recovered from the weekend duty. We were up late in the night struggling with a perforated appendix and then had to go into theatre for the regular list at 7:30 Am. Today I got to assist on an interesting case for chronic pancreatitis in a child.

I was informed today about the passing on of a great man – Dr. A.K Tharien. He was one of the founders of the Christian Fellowship hospital in Oddanchatram and an incredible visionary for medical care in India. He was a person who took a great interest in Anne and me wanting to work in Baripada and helped us follow it through.

Koby and Anne are having a ball in Kerala. Cherry (Anne’s brother) was in Kerala for a short time and was really thrilled to play with his “awesome” nephew! Here is a picture with the two of them having a moment together! I just cant waith for them to get back. We still have not got the keys to our new home - I hope it come by the time Anne and Koby are back, was hoping to have shifted in before they came.... Lets see.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Through it all - I learn to trust.

The poor lonely father is clicking through pictures on the computer of Koby and Anne. They are in Kerala and enjoying the constant stream of people in to see the new baby. Koby behaved himself on the trip to Kerala. They were in an Air conditioned train coach, and he had another tiny baby on the opposite seat to keep him company. He must be having a great time in Kerala getting all the attention he just loves to have! ( just like his dad)
This picture alongside shows how Koby has more hair than his dad! He has his hands on his nose, but I doubt that it's because of how I smell!!
My sister - Tripti is just itching to get married. The countdown has begun and I can imagine her pushing time faster to June if she could physically do it! It seems like eons ago when Anne and I tied the noose, now with Koby around and all – but it’s probably the greatest thing I’ve done in my entire life. “Go for it girl” is all I can give her as sagely brothers advice!
The Pediatric surgery posting is sadly drawing to an end. This weekend will be my long duty and I am nearly done. I wish I hadn’t missed 2 weeks to radiation therapy, but I guess it just had to be. Dr. Viju John is a senior registrar with me and he was quoting the popular Hymn – “through it all – I learn to trust in him”, while we were talking about how God splats us into trouble rather than helps us skirt it or escape the easy way because through the tough times is when we see him work us through. I couldn’t agree with him more. Viju finishes his training here and will also be going to a mission hospital in Lumptaput, Orissa.
Today all the senior doctors of the CMC senate are biding farewell to Dr. Chacko Korula -our head of Nephrology, as he retires. His son Sushil and I studied in school together. His leaving CMC will be a great loss.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Eddie in town

Eddie has come down from Madras to see Koby. Edward is my best friend in Medical College and was my best man at our wedding. He has just got into a medicine residency with a hospital affiliated with Yale and will start in July. Once he is off to the United States – I doubt we will get to see him again. Anne took a good half an hour to get to the church from her home, when we were getting married and Eddie kept me company and kept reassuring me that she will come!

Koby was thrilled to see Eddie; he sat peacefully in his hands and then did both a big job and little job on him! Naughty boy!

Today is an important day for Anne and me – we have applied for a house on the hospital campus. Now that Koby has come along, it’s going to be impossible to stay in a single room – we will need a maid as well, once Anne is done with the maternity leave. The applicants are many for houses and the houses are few. Let’s see what happens. That’s something to pray about. The pick is at 12 noon today.

Anne, her mum and Koby leave to Kerala today – I hope I finish my operating list before they leave so I can at least see them off at the station.

Koby has been really spoilt - many of my college classmates are in CMC doing their postgrads - they have all been in to see him and carry him around. To the left Abhilash, Subhash and Patra. Annie on the right!

9pm - Anne and Koby are on their way to Kerala. Sob!

God feeds the sparrows! - We got the house!! The picks were good and we have a house in "the 'old' PG quarters". Thats the great news for today. It's actually such a great thing. It was quite doubtful, but God helped it work out in the end.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Home for Easter

It's great to be home, Koby is back with his grandparents in the college campus. He needed phototherapy because he was a bit jaundiced. His blood group is special - I am A negative and Anne B negative blood groups, he is AB negative ( perfect - because those are universal recipients - i.e. they can be transfused with any blood group if they need a transfusion).
Koby is a real bundle of joy, he's up all night, and hungry virtually every half an hour- but all the effort of changing his nappies, feeding him is just sooo worth it, when he clings onto your shirt and sleeps - oblivious to al the commotion about him.
Anne has recovered from the delivery, her blood pressure is back to normal. Back home for Easter is great - full house. Amma's mother and sister Lizzie ammama are here. They are thrilled to see the latest addition to the family - Koby is luck because he has all 4 great grandmothers alive. One is 96 years old - In Tiruvalla - Anne's grandmother and she just can't wait to see her great grandson. Anne's mother is here and they will leave with Anne and Koby to spend a month in Kerala - to recuperate and be spoilt silly by her parents! Sniff! I'm going to miss them, but I have to sadly grin and bear it as such is the "custom".
We went over to the Scudder Auditorium this evening to listen to the Celebrant Singers. It was Anne's first outing after the delivery and my mum and Dad were left in charge of Koby.

Here is a picture of Koby and me with a big and little chocolate Easter Bunny! It's been a great Easter. Thank you - all of you who have shared this most beautiful experience with Anne and me. The e-mails of congrats and comments on the blog. I hope Koby will grow up to be and do as God has planned in his life. To be a channel of Gods love. As the leader of the Celebrants today said - when we enjoy a sip of cold lemon soda, we don't say what a lovely staw - we appreciate the drink. It's the same way we need to be the channels of what God wants in our lives. Koby is nothing short of a gift, to Anne and me - when we least expected, but he has a purpose and I only hope God reveales to us what he is to be and do.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


On April 11 at 1.02 PM, a 3.56 Kilo screaming Koby was born.
Anne is exhausted but doing well. This is the greatest thing that God has done in our lives. I usually have a lot to say, but this little chaps pictures speak a thousand words. All I can say is thanks God, we are so undeserving.
Pic1 - Anne, Koby and me day 1
Pic2 - Koby
pic 3 - My Appa, Tripti and Koby.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Prayer requests!

Today I have no great blog entry, just prayer requests. Anne has been admitted with high blood pressure (Pregnancy induced hypertension is the medical term) and is in the ward. The pressure is still on the borderline high range, so if the pressures stay high – her Obstetrician Doctor Jiji may induce the labour, without waiting till the 17th when Koby is actually due. Please keep us in prayer, Anne is well now sitting around and reading books in the ward. She’s actually threatening to walk down to the Obstetric ward and do some work. My pediatric surgery ward is just a floor below where Anne is admitted, I am on 24 hour duty tomorrow, but I can keep popping in – it’s just ten seconds away. How God works things out! My normal ward would have been the other end of hospital! Here are pitures of the "expectant father and mother!", Z z z z .. .. passing time in the ward.

Another Aunty, who I had mentioned in the past, whose son in law had read the Blog and brought her to CMC, is not doing too well. They have a diagnosis of AML (Leukemia), and since she is quite elderly, a high mortality is a possibility if she chooses to go through Chemo. Palliation is an option, but from what I have come to know her by, she is a fighter. Please keep her – Mrs. Menon in your prayers.

A new friend I have made on the Blog, is battling Spinal Muscular atrophy – Pranay is a 2 year old who is battling SMA, his mother had read my Blog and got in touch with me. He is a fighter, just like me (his mother Kavitha e-mailed to say).. SMA is a difficult disease both for the children and the care givers in Pranay’s case his dedicated parents. Here is a link to a short write up on him. Keep in in your prayers too. In the last few months, I have come to realize that through prayer there is nothing that God can’t do, and that there is no weapon greater than prayer.

Actually there is a really cute wall poster in Anne's ward room - "Before you go to sleep, hand over all your cares to God - He's up all night anyway!"

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Falser hood

Every time I think that I am on the verge of becoming a father - the entire dream fades away in a few fizzled out contractions! Anne and I made our first false trip to the labour room yesterday, but since it was all her friends are in charge there, they kept her for an hour or so, on the fetal monitors and let us go after they were sure that she was not in labour! I’m happy about the trip because I have a trace that looks like and ECG, with Koby’s heart beat on it! The pitter patter of Koby’s heart on the monitors was like music to the ears! Funny, I hated those monitors when I was posted in Labour room earlier– they were just a noisy irritation!! Guess when the person behind the noise is your child the noises are more important and sound better!!

Work is as great as usual. I am just getting the hang of duties alone. The system is tedious, but once you get the hang of it – it’s all right. I have a picture of Shaji - one of our registrars, when we went to the neonatology nursery to put in a couple of cut down venous accesses. Threading a catheter in a neonate’s vein in a pretty difficult thing to do, I keep praying that Koby doesn’t need any thing remotely similar!

A picture of the Sun diving into the CMC, Vellore skyline as the day draws to an end. There below is the old dirty hospital, filled with all it's thousands of patients, yet life still looks calm - inspite of the chaos withis each of these buildings. Like many of our lifes, is it not? This picture is from just outside my pediatric surgery ward. Tomorrow is another day….(Koby, where are you?....)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Just another Manic Monday

It’s funny how a single day can carry so much excitement! I have started independent duties from today in the department, and was posted in the out patient today, and to cover all the cases posted as emergencies in theatre. It was great – all Mondays are however terrible days to work on I guess, after the lovely rest of a weekend! Getting one’s engine running again to face the week is a task that all Mondays put us onto!

Anne got us a bit worried today, with a bit of tummy pain. It’s difficult to say when it’s the real Mc- coy! If we should take the pain seriously and pop off to the labor room to check… But the fact that she is OB-Gyn is a useful because she’s able to use their criteria and tell the mild contractions from the real thing. I’m on 24 hour call in the ward tomorrow, I hope like anything that Koby doesn’t plan on arriving tomorrow! That will really bug the rest of the registrars in my department if I hand over the bleep to go and be with Anne … but if it has to be done – it has to be done!

I went to make a visit in the hematology ward today. A few days ago, someone had left a comment on my blog post and said that they were bringing their mother in law for evaluation of leukemia, and it was their first time in CMC. I popped over to meet them – It was a treat. Once again I’m convinced that I went through Chemo to tell other’s who are worried about it that it’s something that can be faced, and that God has a plan even for those with cancer! I’m a living example!

I’ll end with a picture of my sister Tripti and Anne cutting up a watermelon – one of the cool respites in Vellore’s hot summer! This is in our Kitchen at home... And yes, Kumar the picture on yesterday's post is of my parents house in the college campus!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Back to the past!

One of my all time favorite movies as a child was the “back to the Future” series. Doc Brown and his time machine…. It’s a bit like that now. But I’m back to the past. I went for my first haircut today. Not much of a haircut, but the barber used a razor the demark the back of my hair line -– and trim all my “baby hair”, that’s growing in all crazy directions! Small things like that is like getting back to a routine that was all so familiar – but at times seems like it was so long ago. When was my last hair cut – I can barely remember, all I do remember is getting discharged from hospital after the first chemo and getting my head shaved as a pre-emptive strike.
Today we are spending our Sunday at home. This week onward – I start to do independent on call duty in Pediatric surgery. That should be all right. I just hope and pray Koby doesn’t want to come along when I am on duty. That will not be any fun at all!
It’s so uncertain when Kids can pop along. Anne’s mom has been making and canceling tickets from Kerala to Vellore at weekly intervals, so when her grandchild does arrive, she won’t be left without a reservation! The other day, Amma called me in the ward to ask me something, and since it’s quite unusual to get a personal call in the ward – I went charging off thinking Anne had gone into Labour!
False alarms, False Alarms!